Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Legend of the Flying Canoe

I love Halloween. This year I bring you the Legend of the Flying Canoe, or La Chasse-galerie.

I came across this Quebecois legend while researching Let's Go!. You cannot have a history of transportation in North America without a canoe. Of course there was no place for this legend in my book, but I find it fascinating all the same.

Couple together a canoe with a story involving the devil and you've got a Canadian Halloween classic...okay, so what if the actual story involves New Year's not Halloween? To me it's a better story for this time of year.

The animated National Film Board film of the legend is definitely worth a watch. It's about 10 minutes long. Roch Carrier retold the story in The Flying Canoe, published in 2004 by Tundra Books. The legend has even made it onto a postage stamp, as seen here.

And it's Canada, so there's even a beer alluding to the legend. (It's good, too.)

So here's to Halloween! And may your travels tonight or today lead you safely home.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I Got the Giveaways!

The courier came with my copies of the TD Grade One Giveaway editions of Let's Go! and On y va!

Wow. They are lovely. What can I say? Thank you to all involved!

It's the first time I've seen the French edition. Someone around here remarked to me that they didn't know I spoke French that well. Um, like I told them, I don't. The credit for that goes to the translators. My grade 13 French is a little rusty, but I did manage to read the translation. Fascinating to see my words transformed into another language. And high praise to them for making the translation work in the space they had to fit it into!

I'm looking forward to touring some of Southern Ontario this coming Book Week. Appropriately enough, it might involved several modes of transportation (car, train, bus...).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Paddle to the Sea

Today is my two-year blogoversary! Where does the time go? So I suppose I'm feeling a little nostalgic and hope you'll allow me a little diversion down memory lane. When I was in elementary school, unlike my own kids, we didn't get regular movies during lunchtime. In fact, we didn't have DVDs or even VCRs to show movies for those times we actually did get to see movies.

Movies were rather rare occurrences so they were a pretty big deal. When the teacher wheeled in a tall squeaky metal cart with a big reel projector on top, she also reached to the ceiling for the string and pulled down the white projector screen. The lights were dimmed. Then the countdown began as the reels click-clicked and whirred away. It was all very exciting.

Except we saw the same movies--a lot.

One of the movies we saw regularly (like at least once a year) was Paddle to the Sea. I loved that movie. It's the story of a toy carved wood canoe and its journey by meltwater, creek and river to the sea. A few years ago I came across the book by Holling C. Holling in a library sale bin and promptly bought it for a bargain. (The copy I bought was an early printing, much dog-eared and worn.) I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the story with my son as it brought back my memories of the film.

So imagine my delight to stumble upon the actual link to the actual NFB film by Bill Mason a few days ago! I watched it again, all 20 some minutes of it. To me it's a classic.

If you have some time, enjoy.

Or the actual link is

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Secret Identity--Revealed!

In the past week two people I interact with in different capacities during regular parental life have told me their kids have received my book at school (and really enjoyed it, but of course!). Obviously some schools in my area are already giving out their TD Grade One Giveaway books. Both individuals never knew I was an author.

That gives me cause to pause.

I'm not hiding the fact that I write from my everyday life, but I suppose I don't proclaim it either. Why does it feel a little like my secret identity has been revealed, my cover is blown? I've never actively tried to keep my author job title a secret. Maybe I'm just not good at self promotion. Maybe I'm shy.

Soon there will be about 500,000 kids with my book in hand. That's awesome...humbling...and maybe more than a little difficult to really wrap my head around. As part of the Giveaway program, it looks like Scot Ritchie, the book's illustrator, and I will be touring some of southern Ontario for Canadian Children's Book Week. I won't be able to hide behind my identity as just a normal mom then, will I? It should be--gulp--fun!

Friday, October 9, 2009

My Carpet of Leaves


Leaves lie all over the lawn
like a carpet of embers
fallen and fading
discarded, decaying
to feed my mind with
impressions, promises
though cold encroaches
once winter is weathered
warm winds will
bring green

text and photo copyright Lizann Flatt, 2009

For more poetry, visit this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Anastasia's Picture Book of the Day

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Support for Just One More Book

This is a clip of a press release that came my way this morning:
Making Andrea a Breast Cancer Survivor
Posted: 07 Oct 2009 11:49 AM PDT
The Just One More Book!! children’s book podcast will be taking an indefinite hiatus so that Andrea and I can focus on making Andrea a Breast Cancer survivor.  We received the results of Andrea?s biopsy, yesterday. This morning we met with a surgeon and discussed the treatment process.

The full press release can be seen here.

I'm thinking of Andrea and Mark and sending my support and best wishes their way for this challenging time. That sounds so lame but I do mean it sincerely. These two have so selflessly done so much for the love of books and for reading. Thank You! I'm urging the universe, the powers that be, the many varied creeds or spiritual belief systems, to give back to them now.